40 QLD farmers to be pushed off farms for Singapore Military 

BY 2021, rural towns lining the Bruce Highway in central Queensland will look nothing like they do now.
Quiet plains home to fourth generation farmers and thousands of head of livestock will be cleared and transformed into military battlegrounds where tanks roam rather than cattle.
Thousands — estimates suggest as many as 14,000 — foreign troops will drive armoured vehicles, fly helicopters and jet aircraft and fire live rounds. It won’t be suitable for civilians.
It’s a huge change coming courtesy of an expansion to the Shoalwater Bay Military Training site, an already-significant area of countryside more than 100km northwest of Rockhampton.
Singapore’s Army wants to use it for training but they say it’s not big enough. An expansion will make it six times bigger than Singapore alone.
The Australian Government is on board thanks in no small part to the $2.25 billion sweetener promised by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, but those whose lives will be turned upside down in the process are losing sleep and worrying about what comes next.

Prime land for farming … and for war games. Picture: Google Earth


Residents in Marlborough, 106km northwest of Rockhampton, are likely to have their homes compulsorily acquired. Picture: Department of Defence

As many as 40 landowners in and around Marlborough received letters in the week of November 28, as well as a map detailing how their lives were about to change.
They were told their homes and farms would either “likely” or “potentially” be compulsorily acquired to make way for the war games.
For many, the news came out of the blue. For Philippa Rea and her family, it could mean walking away 8000 acres, 1100 head of cattle and more than 20 years of memories.
Her and her husband can’t bring themselves to tell the kids yet.
“To be honest, we haven’t really discussed the issue much with our children,” she told news.com.au.
“How do you explain the concept to very small children? How do you explain that they will no longer don their workshirts and go on a water run with dad? How do you explain that they will no longer be able to pop out into the paddock to pat their favourite horse?”
Philippa, her husband Clinton and their children Alexandra, 5, and Benjamin, 3, live on Stanage Bay Road on a property that has been in the Rea family for generations.
They heard rumours before November that “the army was looking to buy property” nearby but their fears were confirmed in print.

The letter from the Department of Defence was coupled with what Philippa calls a “rough mud map”. It read:
In mid-December representatives from the Department of Defence will be in Marlborough to meet with landowners and leaseholders whose properties are within the expansion areas for Shoalwater Bay Training Area as indicated in the image (above).
It was that simple. Her land was in the proposed expansion zone. She’s been losing sleep ever since. So has Danielle McKenzie.
Mrs McKenzie, who owns Marlborough Motors with her husband, found out about the plans when a friend called her in tears.
“She was severely upset,” she said. “I was completely shocked. I didn’t think at that moment about me, I just felt so sick in my tummy for them. Then, three days later, I started to think ‘Oh my God, if this goes ahead then a huge amount of our clients will be gone’.”
The family studied the maps and crunched the numbers. The result was alarming.

“I was gobsmacked. I could not believe it. We went home and went through all the properties. It comes to 70 per cent of our client base,” she told news.com.au.
“We have no idea what to do. We’re backed into a corner. Landowners will be offered compensation and that’s something but local business owners won’t get a thing. (The Defence Department) said it to our face: ‘You will not be entitled to any compensation’.


Soldiers train at Shoalwater Bay. Picture: Lara Lauth


War games in central Queensland. Picture: Lara Lauth

“They should explain to my three children what’s going to happen to us. How are we going to rebuild our lives? We’re still in debt from purchasing and there’s no way I could rebuild. We go to bed sick to our stomach. How do you live like that?”
Mrs McKenzie says the plan will impact Yeppoon and Rockhampton, too. She organised a meeting on Monday attended by stakeholders including landowners, Department of Defence representatives and One Nation’s Pauline Hanson.
Ms Hanson says it’s a land grab.
“We only have so much prime agricultural land in Australia. Look after it and don’t just hand it over for Defense training,” she told Seven News.
AgForce Queensland’s Grant Maudsley said it was an “abuse of power”.
Livingston Shire Mayor Bill Ludwig said the move was “shortsighted” and should be reconsidered.
“The loss of this productive primary production land will impact on our region for generations to come,” he said.
“It is a shortsighted strategy to trade-off existing wealth generating primary production land with no guarantees whatsoever that those economic losses will be compensated by the establishment of long-term Defence related industry jobs or major supply chain opportunities.”


Tanks will roam central Queensland by 2021. Picture: Zak Simmond

Landowners have been given a rough timeline. There will be “templating” and a master plan delivered in February this year, followed by confirmation from the ADF about which properties will stay and which will go.
After that, parliamentarians will decide to either approve or reject the acquisition strategy.
Philippa Rea says she’s crossing her fingers for a fair result. She says she supports the troops and the need for training, but only to a point.
“We are not asking the government to unravel the five areas of co-operation between Australia and Singapore that are outlined in the Australia-Singapore Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” she said.
“We are not asking the government to stop progress in trade and economics in tandem with Defence. We are asking them to consider alternatives to taking our land, our livelihoods, our lives.”

Source: http://www.ntnews.com.au/news/singapores-military-could-force-fourth-generation-farmers-to-flee-queensland/news-story/bd1af087e93a1394e949c8eee3c68369

28 Comments Add yours

  1. Lorraine G says:

    This is not right, our farmers should come first before all else. Australia was made on this industry. With generations of farmers continuing on. Does this government really believe that letting Singapore come out here to train with live bullets and tanks is in the best interests of Australia. The safety factor of them trying to take Australia over could become a huge issue. People who have owned these farms for centuries and business that will be sent into bankruptcy all because of money. They will have an abundance of all sorts of weaponrey at their hands to inflict any type of take over. With our no gun policy for any Australian, it seems to me this is an del very dangerous trade with such Un rest world wide definitely not a wise move at all. We do not want this here and it’s not right that people’s lives and heritage are just uprooted and taken from them in this maner. No good politics at all. Very dangerous and unsafe.

    Like

    1. Citizen says:

      Lorraine, you need to get educated before spouting this nonsense.
      Australia was founded no more on farming than any other country, it is a primary industry.
      Singapore trying to ‘take over’ Australia is comical, they poses neither the manpower nor the technology to do so.
      There is no such ‘no gun policy’ in Australia. Farmers in that part of Queensland are actually quite well armed, and often go pig + roo hunting, for sport and for work.

      Like

  2. D Gavenlock says:

    Very disappointed with our government at state and commonwealth levels.Is Australia going to be one big mining pit and desert for war games???

    Like

  3. D Gavenlock says:

    Please don’t do this.? ?

    Like

  4. farrel904 says:

    Send them into the gibson desert – what the hell take farmland when we have desert to spare – this bluddy government needs to wake up to itself and tell them to piss of – close down shoalwater – move the whole lot to the gibson or into the kimberley ranges – south east of the dam – and make them build it – ?? what war are they preparing for ?? –

    Like

  5. Kim says:

    You know, there was this bloke in America that they tried to do this to and i dont know if he even owned all his land, to cut it short him and many others stood up to their govt and i believe they won….these homes ARE owned by these farmers, they need to now stand up and not let this happen and im sure many will stand with them…could you imagine doing this to members of our govt, just taking their properties, no i couldnt either

    Like

  6. Clair says:

    This is fucked I get there is a lot of money involved but that is people’s farms the way they make money to feed there family’s and live a life. If you take it away from them you are going to kill them trust me. You already can’t help our farmers out west going through droughts and I know I had 8 family and friends kill them self cause they are that far under they don’t know what else to do. Leaving partners and kids behind to suffer, think Australia really hard!!!

    Like

  7. Avril Cowie says:

    Why does this have to operate on the most populated Coast in Australia.

    Like

  8. Jennifer says:

    Must be just a coincidence that Govt and ABC have shut down all shortwave radio…
    “Shortwave listening is a popular activity whose participants specialise in receiving radio signals from around the world. Signals may include international broadcasters (eg BBC, Voice of America, Radio Japan, Radio Australia), maritime and aircraft communications, pirate broadcasters, military operations and amateur and CB radio activity.
    Unlike the normal medium wave (AM) or VHF (FM) signals from local radio stations, shortwave signals can travel worldwide.”

    http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-09/pacific-nations-lose-shortwave-radio-services/8108032?pfmredir=sm

    Like

  9. Alan Rutlidge says:

    Sadly this beloved country of ours is being sold off or given away hectare by hectare. Soon Australia will be owned by everyone except Australians. As for compulsory acquisition of privately owned land and closing entire townships for foreign war games, it’s just unacceptable. This current federal government is selling us down the river piece by piece. Australia bloody wake up out of your sleep and do something before it’s too late.

    Like

  10. Courtney says:

    Why happen to our rights that we have already fought for the choice of free speech and rights the farmers bought that land if our land and country isn’t good enough for the singapour army they can train in Singapore. Australia you need to wake up to yourself we fought to get to were we are because we don’t want to have to go outside each day and worry for our families well being with war and poverty you bring this over here it’s one step closer to our country being into poverty, war. Human trafficking and slaves if you agree to the demands of Singapore why don’t you just go public that you have handed Australian rights away

    Like

  11. John Wilson says:

    There appears no doubt our LNP government has sold Australia out with the decision to allow Singapore to take over prime Australian land for an alleged war games exercise. this land is larger than Singapore itself. Methinks this is nothing more than an eventual permanent occupation by Singapore and an expansion of its territory. the government has been bought by a sweet bribe and care nothing about its constituents. Corruption and collusion running rampant. Wake up Australia and charge these treasonous idiots and take back our rights.

    Like

  12. Julia says:

    Write to this treasonous government! https://www.pm.gov.au/contact-your-pm

    Like

  13. Simon says:

    We have plenty of unused desert, why can’t we put them there? Least the land is already dried up, people’s lives won’t be put on the line then.

    Like

  14. freak says:

    A Cunch Of Bunts who want a land grab.The farmers should apply for miners rights on masse,that would tie everything up legally for years.

    Like

  15. allan guipo says:

    dear fella australian first thing we have to consult the people of australia and think and learn what wich can be bad affect to the soil of australia it means we study wich suitable place to bring the military training area i sugest the best plaace in armnimland or in cafe of carfenteria its a huges land and seas over there and not farm land thank you so if this sugetion well be rich to the australian authurity im so happy and they well plan of it thank you

    Like

  16. Karen says:

    Are we crazy? One hundred billion trillion would not be enough to allow another country to use our land for their military and for farmers to lose land.

    Like

  17. Rob says:

    Simple vote the pricks out next election, if they don’t support Australian farmers and citizens then they are traitors to this land.

    Like

  18. Anne E Keogh-Casey says:

    So what gives the politicians the rights to give away more of our grazing land to foreign fighters to train on our soil…..what is wrong about theirs?

    Like

  19. Chris Klaassen says:

    Well this will affect my future voting.

    Like

  20. Ross Coleman says:

    Dont we have a whole big desert for them to train in

    Like

  21. Adam says:

    Where the fuck is Barnaby Joyce on this?
    The deputy prime minster.
    Queenslander.
    National Party Leader.
    Mate of the battling farmers.
    Too busy sooking about the safe achools program and sticking his greedy snout in the trough like the rest of them.
    Biggest abuser of political entitlements of all of them.
    I doubt that he has done a thing to help these farmers.

    Like

  22. Andrew says:

    This is crap government just looking out for themselves shoalwater needs to stay same size no expansion our troops train there fine we have the best trained military in the world our own need to come first and any other last this will not benefit Aussies any where when farms are closed

    Like

  23. This is not what land acquisition was designed for .as has been said by many put this base on arid land eg dessert .leave our farmland alone .I served in the military and don’t believe that this is the right use of this land.wise up polititions or we will vote you out.

    Like

  24. It would be a shame to see all that prime land taken and sold for military purposes. Then once the bombardments starts, it will contaminate the soil which will affect primary production in the future even if the military training stops. If military training is going to be compulsory, why not start with the Simpson Desert because it’s not suitable for livestock or farming purposes anyhow?

    Like

  25. John doe says:

    Get ready for invasion !!

    Like

  26. Scott and Victoria Finger says:

    This is such a no brainer and short sighted. The cost to the wider Capricornia and Dalrymple areas is not being considered. There are economical solutions put forward that don’t involve compulsory acquisitions, start listening!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s